Golden Age of American Rock 'n' Roll: Special Novelty Edition
by Various Artists
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- Released: November 25, 2003
- Originally Released: 2004
- Label: Ace Records UK
- 1.Ran-DellsMartian Hop
- 2.Johnny CymbalMr. Bass Man
- 3.Jimmy CrossI Want My Baby Back
- 4.Buzz CliffordBaby Sittin' Boogie
- 5.Ivy ThreeYogi
- 6.Nervous NorvusApe Call
- 7.Jim Backus & FriendDelicious!
- 8.Murry KellumLong Tall Texan
- 9.Larry VerneMr. Custer
- 10.Sheb WooleyThe Purple People Eater
- 11.Buchannan & GoodmanFlying Saucer
- 12.DevotionsRip Van Winkle
- 13.David SevilleWitch Doctor
- 14.Spencer & SpencerRussian Band Stand
- 15.PlaymatesBeep Beep
- 16.The Four PrepsMore Money For You And Me
- 17.Bob McFadden & DorThe Mummy
- 18.Five BlobsThe Blob
- 19.Jesse Lee TurnerThe Little Space Girl
- 20.Edward Byrnes & Connie StevensKookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb)
- 21.Brian HylandItsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
- 22.Barry MannWho Put The Bomp (In The Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)
- 23.Bobby HendricksPsycho
- 24.Ray StevensAhab, The Arab
- 25.Jumpin' Gene SimmonsHaunted House
- 27.Stan FrebergThe Old Payola Roll Blues (Side 1)
- 28.Linda LaurieAmbrose (Part 5)
- 29.DetergentsLeader Of The Laundromat
- 30.Napoleon XIVThey're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haa!
Name any big rock & roll novelty hit from the mid-'50s to the mid-'60s, the sillier the better, and the odds are it's on this 30-song compilation. As just a sample of the big hits here, this has the Ran-Dells' "Martian Hop"; Sheb Wooley's "The Purple People Eater"; David Seville's "Witch Doctor"; the Playmates' "Beep Beep"; Barry Mann's "Who Put the Bomp (In the Bomp Bomp Bomp)"; Gene Simmons' "Haunted House"; the Detergents' "Leader of the Pack" satire "Leader of the Laundromat" (probably the funniest thing here); and, closing the disc, Napoleon XIV's legendarily grating "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haa!" Naturally, some of the big hits included weren't as funny as they were popular, like Larry Verne's "Mr. Custer," Brian Hyland's "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini," Ray Stevens' "Ahab the Arab," and Buzz Clifford's "Baby Sittin' Boogie." Those are necessary to get a full view of the range of early rock & roll novelty hits, though, and as compensation there are quite a few semi-forgotten amusing small novelty hits, like Murry Kellum's "Long Tall Texan" (covered soon afterward by the Beach Boys), Jimmy Cross' tasteless death rock satire "I Want My Baby Back," Stan Freberg's "The Old Payola Roll Blues," and Spencer & Spencer's "Russian Band Stand" (a simulation of how American Bandstand might have been conducted in the former Soviet Union). As grounds for mild criticism, "Transfusion" would have made a better Nervous Norvus cut than "Ape Call," and the version of "Alley-Oop" is not the number one hit version by the Hollywood Argyles, but the (admittedly far rarer) one by the Dyna-Sores, which made it up to a mere number 59. But overall it's the most in-depth collection of the genre ever produced, accompanied by a 32-page booklet of detailed liner notes. ~ Richie Unterberger
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